In this time of incredible stress, pressure, and anxiety, let's hear the simple words of encouragement from the apostle Paul:
Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done. (Colossians 2:7 NLT)
Years ago, my husband and I were going through financial problems. I was distraught with worry. Then I read Paul's clear words of truth written to the Christians in Philippi:
"Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7 NRSV)
When I started giving thanks to God, faith-filled me. I received "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding"!
Can we really find reasons to thank God even during difficult times like we are facing today?
There are many reasons to give thanks, even in times of despair and difficulty. Let me list a few to get you started thinking about the blessings in your life. Once you get started, I'm sure you can think of many other reasons to give thanks.
When we come to know Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are blessed with forgiveness, everlasting life, constant communion with Jesus, divine guidance, and God's faithful provision, answers to prayer, hope for the future, and a host of other good things. When it comes to salvation, we can join Paul in saying, Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15 NRSV).
The Beautiful Creation of God:
Sometimes when I feel down, I go for a walk and praise God for the beauties of His world. Jesus said:
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these (Luke 7:27 NRSV).
God's beautiful creation is such a great blessing!
The Fellowship of the Saints:
Our Lord has given us our brothers and sisters in Christ for our enrichment and encouragement.
Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:12-13 NRSV).
God's Wonderful Promises:
When troubles assail, I open my Bible and find a promise that gives me comfort and reminds me of God's faithfulness.
For God is not unfair. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other Christians, as you still do (Hebrews 6:10 NRS).
We can, and should, deal with the stress and anxiety of this troubled Thanksgiving season by giving thanks!
God's promises are faithful and true. The Scriptures remind us of God's great faithfulness! Thanksgiving does drive away anxiety! But, we don't have to go through hard times to appreciate God's blessings. If we look, we will find that His blessings are new every day. Our hearts can awaken to these when we choose to give thanks!
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart (Colossians 4:2 NLT).